As a Presenter, whether it be a keynote speaker or guest speaker, it can be challenging when setting your fees.
No two speaking gigs are alike, and the questions are endless. Whether at the beginning of your speaking career or in the middle, or you are an outright professional speaker, often you don’t know where to begin or what to charge for your next gig.
What if this is your 1st or 30th gig?
Will the travel expenses be included?
Do you consider the location and type of audience?
What about the industry?
Will you be able to sell anything after the talk? How long do I work for free?
How long do I work for free?
Who owns the rights to my recording?
The list could go on and on, but I think you get the idea, it can be tough, and we all know that speaking is not an exact science. The list of questions and scenarios are long, and the combinations are endless.
The number one question I hear is, “What do I charge?”
And the real answer is “it depends.” Will know that isn’t very helpful, is it?
There are a lot of factors that comprise how to charge, but let me list some that you must consider when quoting your fee:
***Remember, setting your speaker fee schedule is more of an art than a science. These are starter questions***
How often do you want to speak per year?
How many times would you speak at this event?
Is travel involved?
Do you need to fly/drive?
Do you need to overnight?
Would you travel to this destination for fun?
How many talks have you given previously, be it paid or free?
What industry are you planning to speak too?
Where are you in your career?
Would you go to the event even if not speaking?
Don’t sell yourself short. At the end of the day, charge what you’re most comfortable with.
WHERE SHOULD I START?
I would say $1,500 is a good starting point for most speakers.
Let’s say you’re speaking 2 times at an event. You’d charge a flat fee (~$1,500) for one talk and a little more (~$500) per additional talk. Your time and expertise are valuable so you should be charging as such.
EXPERIENCE DOESN’T ALWAYS EQUAL SUCCESS
The cold hard truth, speakers should up their game every time they speak. Engage with the audience, be personal, story tell, increase your skills, try new things. and learn from your prior talks and other speakers.
What makes them stand out? Study their body language, their delivery, and the audience reactions. This will help you appreciate things you might have overlooked. Consider them mentors you’ve never met.
Bluntly put – The more you speak, the better you become — The better you become, the more you charge.
TRAVEL FEE INCLUDED?
Perhaps you’ll need to fly to the event, which means you’ll have more expenses like car rental, taxi, parking meals etc. On average, you can charge an additional $750 for long distance gigs.
Now, this expense could be more, it could be less, but this is an average industry standard. There is a lot of room for negotiation here.
Knowing what questions to ask is critical in determining your travel expenses. You have room to wiggle here so use your judgment.
You need to ask about accommodations before you say “yes” to your next speaking engagement. Ask and then research. Is the client paying your room to master or do you pay and then get reimbursed? If its even reimbursable. Ask their budget for this and don’t see yourself short, you need a good night’s rest to present your best self. On average, you can charge an additional $300 for accommodations.
THE TYPE OF AUDIENCE MATTERS
If you are speaking to a corporation or audience full of CEO’s, you can charge more based on the perceived value of your information, plus the fact that for-profit organizations have larger budgets to spend on conferences and events.
If you’re speaking to a non-profit organization the rate would significantly differ compared to a Fortune 500 firm- – sometimes as much as 50-100%.
Is this your target audience, will you get referrals? This alone could be worth the waiver of a speaker fee.
I’m talking about speaking at an event that you’ll already be a guest at. If you plan on attending the event you’ve been asked to speak at, you could lower your speaking fee or simply have them comp your visit. Starting points, Reg Fees, Hotel Rooms, Flights,
Should I comp my speeches and if so, how long should I do this?
Working for free doesn’t pay the bills. You want to be paid for your time, energy, and expertise, and rightfully so. So, consider the ROI on your speech, will you get back your suggested fees, in future sales?
It’s a LARGE Event, should I charge more?
To be blunt again, No- your efforts should be the same if talking to 50 or 5000. If your selling, this does matter, because your potential ROI is larger. Another factor is – do you have to provide any handouts or workbooks at your cost?